Jamie’s Get Ahead Gravy Recipe

Watch the video here (3 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmxJeptDDlY&feature=youtu.be

So now we have finally had the go-ahead that we can have our family around for Christmas dinner – a much welcomed and long awaited piece of good news during the pandemic – it’s time to get organised!

Pandemic or no pandemic, I am sure we can all agree – no roast dinner is complete without lashings of homemade gravy.

With 12th December being National Get Ahead Gravy Day, it’s the perfect time to get ahead. Preparation is key, especially when cooking for 3 families at once!

Our in-house chef, James Capper, has helped source a recipe that is sure to impress everyone…using an unexpected but tasty ingredient – chicken wings. 

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 6-8
  • Cuisine: British


  • 2 large brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon, sliced thickly
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 10–12 chicken wings
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) dry sherry or white wine
  • freshly ground pepper
  • parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • chives, finely chopped (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (without fan).
  • Place the onions, carrots, celery, bacon, bay leaves, sage, and rosemary into a large, high-sided roasting dish. The roasting dish should be oven-proof and also suitable for using on the stove later.
  • Using a very sharp knife, break the chicken wings so that the bones are cracked in places, but the wings are still intact.
  • Place the chicken wings on top of the other ingredients in the roasting dish.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Roast for 1 hour or until the chicken wings are golden and nicely browned. The more colour the chicken wings have, the more colour and flavour your gravy will have.
  • Remove the roasting dish from the oven and place it on the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sherry or white wine, and let it bubble away for a few minutes until most of it has evaporated.
  • Stir in the flour, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add enough boiling water to just cover the ingredients (about 1.5-2 litres or 6-8 cups).
  • Simmer over medium heat for about 30-45 minutes, or until the gravy starts to thicken to your liking.
  • During this time, use a potato masher to squash and mash everything together, and to extract as much flavour as you can from the ingredients. Towards the end of the cooking time, all of the vegetables will have broken down and the chicken wings will have also fallen apart.
  • When the gravy is cooked to your liking, strain everything through a coarse sieve into a large bowl or jug, extracting as much liquid as you can from the ingredients by pressing down with a wooden spoon.
  • Taste for seasoning.
  • Let the gravy cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.
  • To serve, bring the gravy to a simmer in a large saucepan. If it is too thick, thin it with some boiling water.
  • Once you have roasted your meat (turkey, chicken, beef or pork), skim off and discard any excess fat from the pan juices. Pour the pan juices into the gravy, and taste again for seasoning. If you like, you can add some Cranberry Sauce  to give the gravy a touch of sweetness.
  • I like to add fresh herbs to my gravy, such as parsley and or chives, to add some colour and freshness just before serving.


If the gravy is too thin for your liking, I would suggest thickening it with a cornflour slurry. Simply mix a few tablespoons of cornflour with some cold water in a small bowl. With the saucepan of gravy on medium-high heat, quickly stir in some of the cornflour slurry until you have the consistency you like. You may not need all of the cornflour slurry.


All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.


To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Calories: 230

Source: https://eatlittlebird.com/jamie-oliver-get-ahead-gravy/